Officer identified, looting met with heavy National Guard presence in Brooklyn Center

Activists are calling for the police chief's removal because of the tactics his officers used during Sunday night’s unrest.

Protesters stare down a line of National Guard troops outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department. (Alpha News)

The Brooklyn Center police officer responsible for shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright was identified Monday evening as agitators surrounded the local police station for a second straight night.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, fired the fatal shot in Sunday’s incident. She is currently on administrative leave and a decision regarding her future with the Brooklyn Center Police Department is expected Tuesday.

Potter mistakenly drew her handgun instead of her Taser when Wright resisted arrest, according to partial body camera video released Monday.

“I’ll tase you. Taser! Taser! Taser!” Potter is heard shouting in the brief clip. “Oh shit, I just shot him,” she then says.

Wright drove several blocks from the scene before crashing into an oncoming vehicle. A report from the Hennepin County medical examiner said Wright died of “a gunshot wound to the chest.”

“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

Activists are calling for Gannon’s removal because of the tactics he and his officers used during Sunday night’s unrest. In response to these criticisms, the Brooklyn Center City Council voted Monday to ban the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, kettling, and chokeholds, according to local outlet CCX Media.

That ban, however, does not apply to the numerous outside law enforcement agencies that have been called in to help respond, including the Minnesota National Guard.

Roughly 1,000 people were reported to be in the area around the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters nearly an hour after a 7 p.m. curfew took effect Monday night. Operation Safety Net, a multi-agency command created for the Derek Chauvin trial, said agitators were launching “bottles, fireworks, bricks and other projectiles at public safety officials” and attempting to shine lasers into officers’ eyes.

Looters then ransacked a nearby Dollar Tree about two hours after the first of four dispersal orders was issued to curfew violators. A large team of law enforcement officers later cleared the area.

The riotous behavior spilled over into nearby Minneapolis when several squad cars responded to a report of 20 people breaking into a Target Express with bats and hammers. Authorities said they had received five reports of burglaries in Minneapolis as of early Monday morning.

Back in Brooklyn Center, an ambulance appeared to respond to a report of multiple gunshots as it passed through an intersection followed by six cop cars.

The National Guard formed a perimeter to block off access to the Brooklyn Center police headquarters. Alpha News reporter Kyle Hooten said the looting began to simmer shortly after 11 p.m. as a result of a “heavy and effective police presence.”

About 40 arrests on charges ranging from curfew violations to rioting were made throughout the night, Col. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol said at a press conference early Tuesday morning.

“Order was restored, for the most part,” he said. “There were some occurrences of looting around the Brooklyn Center area and the city of Minneapolis. It was pretty limited and sporadic in nature and the Operation Safety Net team was able to respond quickly and quell those areas.”


Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.